Cottage Owner FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions
If you haven't quite made your mind up yet, or still have a few questions to ask, take a read through the questions that we frequently get asked. Or, give us a call on 01474 816660.
How do I join?
Simply contact us on 01474 816660 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do the rest!
Does Independent Cottages charge holiday makers a booking fee?
Absolutely not. The price the holiday maker pays is the price you advertise, with no additional fees added on top. This ensures the holiday maker gets the best possible price for booking self-catering accommodation direct with the owner. Even last minute deals are booking fee free!
Does Independent Cottages charge commission for bookings taken?
No - as a cottage owner, you pay us a yearly advertising fee and all enquiries will come to you directly to handle and convert into bookings. You pay no commission to us for bookings taken.
Do I have to write all the words in my advert?
No - we draft your advert for you. This is to ensure that all cottage adverts on our site have a consistent style and tone. We only publish your advert once you are happy with it. You can, if you wish, draft your own advert and we will work with you to ensure that it is suitable.
Do I need my own website?
Not at all - if you don't have a website don't worry. Potential holiday makers using Independent Cottages should be able to get all the information that they need from your cottage advert. If you decide to have a website built at a later stage, we can put a link from your advert to your website at any time.
What if I don't have any photos yet?
You will need at least one photo of the property, preferably the outside. However, the more that you have and the better the quality, the more appealing the advert will look; and therefore the more likely it is to generate enquiries. Each advert can have up to 40 photos and we normally upload 10-15 for you when preparing your draft. You can then upload more once live. If you do not have decent photos to start with, do not worry, you can update your photos yourself at any time. You can also email us new photos and we will happily replace them for you. There is no extra charge for this service.
What is included in the price?
For a full break down see our 'add a cottage' page. Our adverting fee includes promoting your property online worldwide 365 days of the year, a link to your website, inclusive use of our booking management system, late availability / last minute offers, availability calendar (which can easily be embedded into your own website) and integration with many 3rd-party booking management systems such as Supercontrol, Holiday Bookings Online, Holiday Rentals Management, Bookalet and Freetobook.
Do you charge for updates and changes?
No - cottage owners can update a lot of information on their own adverts, such as photos, facilities, housekeepers email and, of course, booking details. We are also happy to make ad hoc changes to your advert on your behalf. In fact, we strive to work with you to make your advert as appealing as possible and this can sometimes take a number of iterations.
How do I pay for my advert?
We can take credit / debit card payments, cheque or bank transfers.
Do you handle the enquiries for me?
No - we provide the enquirer with the owner's phone number and facility to email you via a secure enquiry form. Owners handle their own enquiries. This allows owners to build rapport with guests and allows owners to 'qualify' enquirers to ensure suitability.
Do I need to be star rated?
Not at all. Some owners choose to become members of a rating scheme, but others feel that holiday makers can determine the quality of a cottage from the photos alone. We cannot over emphasize the importance of photos as these really do sell the property.
Will I receive lots of 'scam' enquiries?
No, we do our best to prevent any scam enquires. Firstly, we do not disclose your email address directly on the site. Secondly, enquiries that are made via the site are cross-referenced against a list of known scams and scammers. We also employ other methods that, for obvious reasons, we won't disclose here!
Can I display your calendar on my website ?
Yes, this is really straight forward. Just ask us and we will provide you with the HTML to do so. Or put us in contact with your web developer and we will sort it out between us. Many owners do this so that they have fewer calendars to update.
Can we integrate our calendar from another website?
Yes - We are very pleased to have relationships with a number of Booking Management System providers, including: Holiday Bookings Online, Bookalet, Holiday Rentals Management and Supercontrol, plus any other calendar system using the iCal format. We can also update your Last Minute Cottages calendar. So, if you use an online booking management system, then let us know and we will activate the calendar integration service for you.
Do you offer a discount for multiple cottages?
Yes - please contact us for details.
Do I have to use your calendar system?
No - use of the calendar / booking system is optional. However, we have found that most potential holiday makers prefer to search using specific dates. For these searches your advert will appear higher up in the search results if you use the calendar.
Can you take guest payments for me?
No - unfortunately we cannot process payments for guest bookings. For guest bookings, we recommend 3rd party payment services (such as Paypal), credit/debit cards or payment via cheque. Many holiday-makers will be happy to pay via bank transfer (essential for last minute bookings, but our least favoured option) due to the risks of fraud, an increasing number are opting to pay via credit card so we do recommend accepting this method. Alternatively, online booking systems (such as SuperControl or Holiday Bookings Online) may be worth considering as they offer online booking management and payment solutions.
Can holiday makers make online bookings?
No – we put the holiday maker in direct contact with you so that you can liaise with your guests during the booking process and handle the booking in a manner which suits you both. This helps to establish that the booking is genuine, that the guests meet your criteria, and that the property is suitable for the guests prior to booking.
If you have any further questions or would like to advertise with us - email us at: email@example.com
Alternatively you can contact us on:
Telephone: +44 (0)1474 816660
Address: Independent Cottages, The Willows, Woodhill, Meopham, Kent, DA13 0DJ